Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Keeping Company :: March 2016

March is here, and it's time for another Keeping Company link-up!  Is it feeling like spring yet where you are?  Wildflowers and sunny skies, and plenty of fodder for journaling?  Or is it more appropriately Lenten, with lots of time for commonplacing with a cup of something hot by your side?  We've had the former, but the latter sounds awfully nice too.

Gianna working on wildflowers from this week

I hope that you've had some "time to keep," whatever form that has taken!  I have a pond trip and a couple trips to the beach that I haven't had a chance to add to my nature journal yet, and I also have some choice bits from Consider This to add to my commonplace.  But I've worked in each a little every week, and those moments spent with my notebooks have been a balm to me during this busy season!

In the Past Month

I asked about collections this past month, and several of you shared how you "keep" your nature finds and the ways they inspire other kinds of keeping in your home.  I've been taking notes because our own collection is a very haphazard assortment, but I would love to find the right supplies to make it a more intentional, accessible, lovely accumulation of our favorite found (and swapped!) items.  (According to the posts I was most drawn to, I think cubbies are the answer!)

from amber at flare of light
For example, Amber shared her family's pleasingly rustic nature display in their dining room: fossils, bones, insect molts, sea shells, and more.  She shares how they're arranged, how often they cull, and how their collection ended up where it did.

There were also some lovely examples shared on Instagram, including these:

from camilem
from lindsay_my_symphony
And more from Instagram...

top (l to r) - cmnewby - homeschool47 - legendsandlace - happylhomemaker1
middle (l to r) - rjnsixvlcjrogers - brc_mackenzie - h5manriquez
bottom (l to r) - obispo98 - littledrops5 - ambervanderpol - athena_amidstthereeds

Don't miss the other posts from this month: commonplace quotes from Kristyn and,Melissa, wise words about intellectual habits from Amy and Carol, nature journals from Julie and Nadine, and more!

Starting the Month's Discussion

I have been thinking recently about cultivating a keeping atmosphere in my home.  I do think that the first step toward that is developing the habit through consistent practice.  But Miss Mason's approach to habit training is two-pronged: consistency and inspiring ideas.  Consistency alone may lead to habits in the short-term, but a habit devoid of its "captain idea" will be easily compromised and will not make the difference in character that a full-formed habit will.  And beyond that, an atmosphere in which the habit is lived and breathed in the home seems essential to making those habits natural, pleasing, and long-term.

So: how might this apply to keeping?  What inspiring ideas might you present to your children?  What "captain ideas" have impacted your own keeping?  If keeping isn't just a practice we develop "because we ought," how can we make that clear to our children?  What notekeeping practices come naturally to your family, and what aspects of the practice require motivation and direction?

(One way I think we can develop this is by displaying collections, as we talked about last month.  Not only does seeing these God-made items in the home inspire familiarity and orient the family culture toward natural observation, but it also sends the message to our children than these "kept" bits are important to us--whether in physical collections or in journal form--or both!  What might be similar kinds of activities that would encourage that appreciation toward other kinds of notebooking?)

The Link-Up

:: For bloggers: Click on the "Add my link" button below, and it will prompt you to include the information for your post.  Once you submit it, your link will be added to the list, and others will be able to click over and read what you have shared.
:: For Instagrammers: Tag related photos with #KeepingCompanyCM to join the link-up.

:: Remember to link to a specific post and not to your blog's homepage. 
:: Any posts about CM-style Keeping are welcome!  The prompt is optional.  Your post can be as simple as a photo of your commonplace book.
:: Feel free to add more than one post.  The link-up will be open for a month, so you can come back and add more if you are so inclined.
:: You can grab the button over there on the sidebar if you'd like to add it to your post or site.

Thanks for participating!  I look forward to reading what you all are up to!


  1. Wow. Those are some great questions you asked at the end there! :)

  2. Just linked commonplace entries but will have a think about your questions & try & add some thoughts later!

  3. I was thinking more on what you asked and for us...I think the keeping habits are only really lived out well without just being another thing to check off the list, if I AM DOING THEM MYSELF. *gulp* So, when I'm enjoying digging for this, going on nature hikes, drawing in my journal or keeping lists, etc, then they see that and latch onto it...it becomes a drudgery when I'm always just "assigning" it, even though we do need that too, because it's a good habit. I can't say I'm the greatest at modeling in some of the keeping habits, but I'm putting one foot in front of the other just one day at a time, and in the end trusting the Lord to take my loaves and fishes and multiply it. :)